ON-Lion Letter

In mid-May, the North Carolina supreme court granted the Institute for Justice’s (IJ's) petition to allow the state’s Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) to operate while it considers a set of lawsuits challenging the program.  The OSP has been on hold since late February, when Judge Robert Hobgood enjoined the program pending the outcome of the lawsuits.

“In lifting the injunction, the North Carolina supreme court has lifted a cloud over the program and given hope to the thousands of families who have already applied for a scholarship,” said IJ senior attorney Dick Komer, who is lead counsel for two families intervening in the case.  “Although today’s decision isn’t the final word on the program, it bodes well for full vindication at the state’s highest court.  More importantly, it bodes well for the families whose only wish is to find the best education for their children.”

North Carolina’s OSP, which was enacted in 2013, allows low-income parents to afford private school for their children whose needs aren’t being met by the public schools, including IJ client Cynthia Perry and her daughter Faith.  More than 5,500 applications have already been filed for just 2,400 scholarships, making OSP the first school-choice program in the country to be oversubscribed in its first year.

The North Carolina supreme court’s ruling means that the program can proceed and that these parents might have a chance to send their children to private schools in the upcoming school year.  The injunction will be lifted while the parents represented by IJ pursue their appeal in the supreme court claiming that Hobgood’s injunction was improper.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports IJ.


(Photo courtesy of IJ)

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